EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Aug. 12, 2004 -- As the 2004 race to the White House heats up, the current presidential candidates received an unexpected announcement today: Barbie(R) is joining the race, representing the "Party of Girls!"
In preparation for hitting the campaign trail, Barbie(R) consulted thousands of loyal constituents through Barbie.com to help finalize a platform that includes three primary issues relevant to girls - create world peace, help the homeless and poor, and take care of animals. Barbie(R) encourages girls to log onto Barbie.com to learn more about the Barbie(R) for President campaign and to speak up on what is important to them. Barbie(R) is partnering with The White House Project, a national nonpartisan organization devoted to advancing women's leadership, and has entered into an exclusive partnership with Toys "R" Us.
"Barbie(R) is the ultimate ambassador for girls and this bid for the presidency reinforces the idea that it is never too soon to get involved and have your voice heard," says Russell Arons, Vice President Marketing, Mattel. "Barbie(R) has extensive background and experience that makes for an ideal candidate - including serving in the military, acting as a UNICEF ambassador, and being a teacher; obviously, being well-educated, well-rounded, and motivated is a huge plus."
"Barbie(R) for President shows girls that they can aspire to the highest levels of leadership, including the presidency. It allows girls to think about turning Barbie's dream house into the White House," says Marie C. Wilson, president and founder of The White House Project, which recently launched its "Go Vote. Go Run. Go Lead. Go Girl.(TM)" campaign. "Since Barbie(R) is such a large part of girls' lives, we believe it's important to encourage them to become tomorrow's leaders, and Barbie(R) for President sends that message."
Mattel, The White House Project's Vote, Run, Lead and Toys "R" Us joined forces on the Barbie(R) bid for the presidency to help encourage girls to become active in issues important to them and to showcase positive qualities and ideals that female politicians and leaders possess. Promoting community involvement, participation in voting, and female role models can improve parent-daughter dialogue, educate girls about the government, and provide them with self-esteem and confidence.
"With the presidential election on the front pages, the timing couldn't be better to start a dialogue between girls and their parents about women's leadership," says Wilson.
Working closely with Marie Wilson and The White House Project, Barbie(R) hopes to encourage girls nationwide to learn firsthand that their voices can be heard through voting and other activities at Barbie.com.
The key strategist in the Barbie(R) presidential campaign is Liza Strauss, an 11-year old, who has been hired as Barbie's campaign manager. Although Liza does not have extensive experience in the political field, she believes that Barbie(R) is a great role model for girls.
"I believe that Barbie(R) is a positive and influential role model for all girls," says Liza Strauss, campaign manager for Barbie(R) For President. "By working closely with Barbie(R) to ensure girls' voices are heard, I hope I can help touch girls' lives."
In this 2004 bid, Barbie(R) is once again listening to girls for their insights on what the campaign platform's priority focus should be. Girls can vote online for Barbie(R) doll's platform on Barbie.com. They can also track and follow the campaign's progress, learn the basics of campaigning and the electoral process, receive information about female political role models, possible leadership activities, and much more.
One of the key highlights of the Barbie(R) campaign was held today, as Barbie(R) and Marie Wilson hosted the first-ever 2004 "Party of Girls" convention at Toys "R" Us Times Square in New York City. Here, the Barbie(R) platform was unveiled - chosen by girls across America - while Marie Wilson addressed the importance of women in politics and cited the importance of using relevant figures and their imagination to encourage young girls to get involved.
"Barbie(R) has been a role model to millions of girls for nearly 45 years, and we are proud to be an exclusive partner and support this campaign," says Amy Parker, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Toys "R" Us.
Barbie(R) for President dolls will be available exclusively at Toys "R" Us stores across the nation in August for an MSRP of under $20.00.
Mattel, Inc., (www.mattel.com) is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of toys and family products, including Barbie(R), the most popular fashion doll ever introduced. The Mattel family of toys and games is comprised of such best-selling brands as Hot Wheels(R); Matchbox(R); American Girl(R); and Fisher-Price(R), which also includes Little People(R), Rescue Heroes(TM), and Power Wheels(R), as well as a wide array of entertainment-inspired toy lines. With worldwide headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., Mattel employs more than 25,000 people in 36 countries and sells products in more than 150 nations throughout the world. The Mattel vision is to be the world's premier toy brands -- today and tomorrow.
About The White House Project
The White House Project is a national nonpartisan organization devoted to advancing women's leadership in all spheres. The organization's new Vote, Run, Lead initiative (www.VoteRunLead.org) is designed to make women a force in Election 2004 and beyond.
About Toys "R" Us
Toys "R" Us, Inc., one of the world's leading retailers of toys, baby products and children's apparel, operates toy stores in the United States; international toy stores, including franchised and licensed stores; Babies "R" Us stores; and Geoffrey stores. Toys "R" Us, Inc. currently sells merchandise through 1,473 stores worldwide: 680 toy stores in the United States; 583 international toy stores, including licensed and franchise stores; 200 Babies "R" Us stores; and 4 Geoffrey stores. Toys "R" Us, Inc. also sells merchandise through its Internet sites at www.toysrus.com, www.babiesrus.com, www.imaginarium.com and www.sportsrus.com. The company is in the process of closing its 6 remaining freestanding Kids "R" Us stores.
For more than 45 years, Barbie(R) doll has served as a role model for girls, and this year is no exception. With Barbie(R) doll's bid for the presidency in 2004 - officially representing the "Party of Girls" - she once again reinforces the idea that it is never too soon to get girls involved so they can speak-up on matters that concern them most. A girl-empowering pioneer, Barbie(R) is an inspiration to millions, and has a well-rounded background and experience that makes for an ideal presidential candidate.
Relevant Experience: With more than 90 careers - from Olympic athlete to astronaut - Barbie(R) has done it all. Take a peek at some of her other career choices along the way...
-- Smart and Savvy: Fashion Editor, Business Executive, Engineer, Dentist, TV News Reporter, and Paleontologist.
-- Helping Others: Teacher, Veterinarian, Pediatrician, Surgeon, Police Officer, Fire Fighter, and Lifeguard.
-- Military Services: Air Force pilot and Thunderbird Squadron Leader, Marine Corps Sergeant, Army officer and Naval Petty Officer. In 1992 she aided her country as an Army Medic in Desert Storm.
-- A Worldly Woman: In the 1980s, she commemorated the end of the cold war between the U.S. and the Soviet Union as a Summit Diplomat and acted as a UNICEF Ambassador.